Charlie Kwai’s ability to record the pace, people and culture of an area was first shown by his series documenting Piccadilly Circus, China’s Golden Week and the river cruises that trundle up and down the Thames. More recently, his work has been exhibited at DreamBagsJaguarShoes in east London, in a show that “celebrated the human condition and showcased what often goes unnoticed in a city full of distractions”. Last month, he was in Ghana photographing the country’s street culture with his collective Tripod City, in which he collaborates with photographers Paul Storrie and Chris Lee.
Charlie hopes to work collaboratively a lot more this year, designing exhibitions and books, editing his street photography and documenting new places with Paul and Chris. Charlie says: “The beauty of what I do is the freedom it gives [me] to work wherever there are people. This year though, I’d like to immerse myself in smaller locations and dedicate more time to creating extended observations instead of fleeting snapshots. It’s hard to be specific, I just follow my nose.”
Charlie is aiming to do a lot more documentary photography in 2016. “I’m hoping to take on any opportunity that enables me to create work I wouldn’t be able to without permission” he says. Having crafted his style in street photography, he’ll be looking to apply it to “situations where I have freedom to photograph, where I’m invisible.” This year we should expect to see Charlie Kwai cropping up “wherever there’s people”, and for now you can enjoy his recently released self-published book County Jail , 24-pages of photographs of “a bizarrely eccentric jailhouse lined by fictitious inmates.”